Very sad news. Afrobeat icon and powerhouse drummer Tony Allen died on Thursday in Paris. He was 79. Cause of death is currently unknown. Allen’s manager Eric Trosset told France 24. “He was in great shape; it was quite sudden. I spoke to him at 1 PM, then two hours later he was sick and taken to Pompidou hospital where he died."

As drummer and musical director in Fela Kuti's Africa '70, Allen was a groundbreaking musician and his polyrhmic style has influenced generations of musicians around the world. Brian Eno called him "perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived."

In the '00s he played on a number of indie alternative records. Damon album recruited him for his group The Good The Bad and The Queen, and Allen played on Sebastien Tellier's Politics album (including the great "La Ritournelle" single) and he also played on Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. Tony had just released Rejoice, an album of sessions he made with trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who died in 2018.

Tony, you were one of a kind. Rest in peace.